Ring of Fire Con / Capclave
The first 1632 minicons were held in Mannington, West Virginia. That’s the town Grantville is based on. Then the minicons started being embedded in a larger science fiction/fantasy convention, usually one that invited Eric Flint as a Guest of Honor. This allowed the minicons to travel around the country and involve more 1632 readers and writers. A couple years ago, we realized we were outgrowing the minicon label. In 2020, COVID canceled most in-person cons, and we put together our online own Ring of Fire Con. (If you missed it, find yourself a weekend, search Ring of Fire Press on Youtube, and you can have your own RoFCon.)
This year, RoFCon was at Capclave in Rockville, Maryland. It included at least 19 writers in the Ring of Fire universe plus others who are published by Ring of Fire Press.
One of the sessions was “Weird Tech and Chocolate,” a memorial for Rick Boatright and Kevin and Karen Evans, all of whom passed in the last year. Rick, Kevin, and Walt Boyes did the “Weird Tech” panel at many minicons, and Walt sent a video of highlights from 2018 (Heliosphere, Tarrytown NY). Joy Ward sent Icelandic chocolate; Karen did panels and wrote both stories and non-fiction articles about chocolate.
The other thirteen panels in the 1632 track ranged from “When A Character You Need Is Scheduled To Die” to “War Isn’t Just About Guns and Booms” to “Love and Romance in 1632” to “Railroad Tracks Across Europe.” And, of course, we finished with “Snerking the Plots,” where Eric tells us what’s coming up in the next year or two of series time.
RoFCon is great for putting faces to the names you’ve seen on the page or on the 1632 discussion boards at Baen’s Bar. There were late-night discussions, spreadsheets, trips to Smashburger, and math. Did you know that, behind the scenes, the various railroad construction crews get experience points and level up? Or that the overhang of an eight-hundred-foot cliff at the Ring Wall is about twenty feet? Or that there are more horse-drawn farm implements in the Ring of Fire than we might have expected? (Thanks to a visit to Mannington on the way to RoFCon.)
When we have a location for RoFCon 2022, we will announce it here. See if you can join us!